Argon

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Argon,  18Ar
Argon discharge tube.jpg
General properties
Pronunciation /ˈɑːrɡɒn/ (AR-gon)
Appearancecolorless gas exhibiting a lilac/violet glow when placed in an electric field
Standard atomic weight (Ar, standard)[39.792, 39.963]conventional: 39.948
Argon in the periodic table
Hydrogen Helium
Lithium Beryllium Boron Carbon Nitrogen Oxygen Fluorine Neon
Sodium Magnesium Aluminium Silicon Phosphorus Sulfur Chlorine Argon
Potassium Calcium Scandium Titanium Vanadium Chromium Manganese Iron Cobalt Nickel Copper Zinc Gallium Germanium Arsenic Selenium Bromine Krypton
Rubidium Strontium Yttrium Zirconium Niobium Molybdenum Technetium Ruthenium Rhodium Palladium Silver Cadmium Indium Tin Antimony Tellurium Iodine Xenon
Caesium Barium Lanthanum Cerium Praseodymium Neodymium Promethium Samarium Europium Gadolinium Terbium Dysprosium Holmium Erbium Thulium Ytterbium Lutetium Hafnium Tantalum Tungsten Rhenium Osmium Iridium Platinum Gold Mercury (element) Thallium Lead Bismuth Polonium Astatine Radon
Francium Radium Actinium Thorium Protactinium Uranium Neptunium Plutonium Americium Curium Berkelium Californium Einsteinium Fermium Mendelevium Nobelium Lawrencium Rutherfordium Dubnium Seaborgium Bohrium Hassium Meitnerium Darmstadtium Roentgenium Copernicium Nihonium Flerovium Moscovium Livermorium Tennessine Oganesson
Ne

Ar

Kr
chlorineargonpotassium
Atomic number (Z)18
Group group 18 (noble gases)
Period period 3
Block p-block
Element category   noble gas
Electron configuration [ Ne ] 3s2 3p6
Electrons per shell
2, 8, 8
Physical properties
Phase at  STP gas
Melting point 83.81  K (−189.34 °C,−308.81 °F)
Boiling point 87.302 K(−185.848 °C,−302.526 °F)
Density (at STP)1.784 g/L
when liquid (at b.p.)1.3954 g/cm3
Triple point 83.8058 K,68.89 kPa [1]
Critical point 150.687 K, 4.863 MPa [1]
Heat of fusion 1.18  kJ/mol
Heat of vaporization 6.53 kJ/mol
Molar heat capacity 20.85 [2]  J/(mol·K)
Vapor pressure
P (Pa)1101001 k10 k100 k
at T (K) 4753617187
Atomic properties
Oxidation states 0
Electronegativity Pauling scale: no data
Ionization energies
  • 1st: 1520.6 kJ/mol
  • 2nd: 2665.8 kJ/mol
  • 3rd: 3931 kJ/mol
  • (more)
Covalent radius 106±10  pm
Van der Waals radius 188 pm
Color lines in a spectral range Argon spectrum visible.png
Color lines in a spectral range
Spectral lines of argon
Other properties
Natural occurrence primordial
Crystal structure face-centered cubic (fcc)
Cubic-face-centered.svg
Speed of sound 323 m/s (gas, at 27 °C)
Thermal conductivity 17.72×103  W/(m·K)
Magnetic ordering diamagnetic [3]
Magnetic susceptibility 19.6·10−6 cm3/mol [4]
CAS Number 7440-37-1
History
Discovery and first isolation Lord Rayleigh and William Ramsay (1894)
Main isotopes of argon
Iso­tope Abun­dance Half-life (t1/2) Decay mode Pro­duct
36Ar0.334% stable
37Ar syn 35 d ε 37Cl
38Ar0.063%stable
39Ar trace 269 y β 39K
40Ar99.604%stable
41Arsyn109.34 minβ 41K
42Arsyn32.9 yβ 42K
36
Ar
and 38
Ar
content may be as high as 2.07% and 4.3% respectively in natural samples. 40
Ar
is the remainder in such cases, whose content may be as low as 93.6%.
| references

Argon is a chemical element with symbol Ar and atomic number  18. It is in group 18 of the periodic table and is a noble gas. [5] Argon is the third-most abundant gas in the Earth's atmosphere, at 0.934% (9340 ppmv). It is more than twice as abundant as water vapor (which averages about 4000 ppmv, but varies greatly), 23 times as abundant as carbon dioxide (400 ppmv), and more than 500 times as abundant as neon (18 ppmv). Argon is the most abundant noble gas in Earth's crust, comprising 0.00015% of the crust.

Chemical element a species of atoms having the same number of protons in the atomic nucleus

A chemical element is a species of atom having the same number of protons in their atomic nuclei. For example, the atomic number of oxygen is 8, so the element oxygen consists of all atoms which have exactly 8 protons.

Atomic number number of protons found in the nucleus of an atom

The atomic number or proton number of a chemical element is the number of protons found in the nucleus of an atom. It is identical to the charge number of the nucleus. The atomic number uniquely identifies a chemical element. In an uncharged atom, the atomic number is also equal to the number of electrons.

Periodic table Tabular arrangement of the chemical elements ordered by atomic number

The periodic table, also known as the periodic table of elements, is a tabular display of the chemical elements, which are arranged by atomic number, electron configuration, and recurring chemical properties. The structure of the table shows periodic trends. The seven rows of the table, called periods, generally have metals on the left and non-metals on the right. The columns, called groups, contain elements with similar chemical behaviours. Six groups have accepted names as well as assigned numbers: for example, group 17 elements are the halogens; and group 18 are the noble gases. Also displayed are four simple rectangular areas or blocks associated with the filling of different atomic orbitals.

Contents

Nearly all of the argon in the Earth's atmosphere is radiogenic argon-40, derived from the decay of potassium-40 in the Earth's crust. In the universe, argon-36 is by far the most common argon isotope, as it is the most easily produced by stellar nucleosynthesis in supernovas.

Radioactive decay Process by which an unstable atom emits radiation

Radioactive decay is the process by which an unstable atomic nucleus loses energy by emitting radiation, such as an alpha particle, beta particle with neutrino or only a neutrino in the case of electron capture, or a gamma ray or electron in the case of internal conversion. A material containing such unstable nuclei is considered radioactive. Certain highly excited short-lived nuclear states can decay through neutron emission, or more rarely, proton emission.

Potassium-40 (40K) is a radioactive isotope of potassium which has a very long half-life of 1.251×109 years. It makes up 0.012% of the total amount of potassium found in nature.

Isotope nuclides having the same atomic number but different mass numbers

Isotopes are variants of a particular chemical element which differ in neutron number, and consequently in nucleon number. All isotopes of a given element have the same number of protons but different numbers of neutrons in each atom.

The name "argon" is derived from the Greek word ἀργόν, neuter singular form of ἀργός meaning "lazy" or "inactive", as a reference to the fact that the element undergoes almost no chemical reactions. The complete octet (eight electrons) in the outer atomic shell makes argon stable and resistant to bonding with other elements. Its triple point temperature of 83.8058  K is a defining fixed point in the International Temperature Scale of 1990.

Greek language language spoken in Greece, Cyprus and Southern Albania

Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages, native to Greece, Cyprus and other parts of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea. It has the longest documented history of any living Indo-European language, spanning more than 3000 years of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the major part of its history; other systems, such as Linear B and the Cypriot syllabary, were used previously. The alphabet arose from the Phoenician script and was in turn the basis of the Latin, Cyrillic, Armenian, Coptic, Gothic, and many other writing systems.

Octet rule chemical rule of thumb

The octet rule is a chemical rule of thumb that reflects observation that atoms of main-group elements tend to bond in such a way that each atom has eight electrons in its valence shell, giving it the same electron configuration as a noble gas. The rule is especially applicable to carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and the halogens, but also to metals such as sodium or magnesium.

In thermodynamics, the triple point of a substance is the temperature and pressure at which the three phases of that substance coexist in thermodynamic equilibrium. It is that temperature and pressure at which the sublimation curve, fusion curve and the vaporisation curve meet. For example, the triple point of mercury occurs at a temperature of −38.83440 °C and a pressure of 0.2 mPa.

Argon is produced industrially by the fractional distillation of liquid air. Argon is mostly used as an inert shielding gas in welding and other high-temperature industrial processes where ordinarily unreactive substances become reactive; for example, an argon atmosphere is used in graphite electric furnaces to prevent the graphite from burning. Argon is also used in incandescent, fluorescent lighting, and other gas-discharge tubes. Argon makes a distinctive blue-green gas laser. Argon is also used in fluorescent glow starters.

Fractional distillation is the separation of a mixture into its component parts, or fractions. Chemical compounds are separated by heating them to a temperature at which one or more fractions of the mixture will vaporize. It uses distillation to fractionate. Generally the component parts have boiling points that differ by less than 25 °C (77 °F) from each other under a pressure of one atmosphere. If the difference in boiling points is greater than 25 °C, a simple distillation is typically used.

Liquid air is air that has been cooled to very low temperatures, so that it has condensed into a pale blue mobile liquid. To thermally insulate it from room temperature, it is stored in specialized containers. Liquid air can absorb heat rapidly and revert to its gaseous state. It is often used for condensing other substances into liquid and/or solidifying them, and as an industrial source of nitrogen, oxygen, argon, and other inert gases through a process called air separation.

An inert gas is a gas which does not undergo chemical reactions under a set of given conditions. The noble gases often do not react with many substances, and were historically referred to as the inert gases. Inert gases are used generally to avoid unwanted chemical reactions degrading a sample. These undesirable chemical reactions are often oxidation and hydrolysis reactions with the oxygen and moisture in air. The term inert gas is context-dependent because several of the noble gases can be made to react under certain conditions.

Characteristics

A small piece of rapidly melting solid argon Argon ice 1.jpg
A small piece of rapidly melting solid argon

Argon has approximately the same solubility in water as oxygen and is 2.5 times more soluble in water than nitrogen. Argon is colorless, odorless, nonflammable and nontoxic as a solid, liquid or gas. [6] Argon is chemically inert under most conditions and forms no confirmed stable compounds at room temperature.

Solubility Capacity of a designated solvent to hold a designated solute in homogeneous solution under specified conditions

Solubility is the property of a solid, liquid or gaseous chemical substance called solute to dissolve in a solid, liquid or gaseous solvent. The solubility of a substance fundamentally depends on the physical and chemical properties of the solute and solvent as well as on temperature, pressure and presence of other chemicals of the solution. The extent of the solubility of a substance in a specific solvent is measured as the saturation concentration, where adding more solute does not increase the concentration of the solution and begins to precipitate the excess amount of solute.

Nitrogen Chemical element with atomic number 7

Nitrogen is a chemical element with symbol N and atomic number 7. It was first discovered and isolated by Scottish physician Daniel Rutherford in 1772. Although Carl Wilhelm Scheele and Henry Cavendish had independently done so at about the same time, Rutherford is generally accorded the credit because his work was published first. The name nitrogène was suggested by French chemist Jean-Antoine-Claude Chaptal in 1790, when it was found that nitrogen was present in nitric acid and nitrates. Antoine Lavoisier suggested instead the name azote, from the Greek ἀζωτικός "no life", as it is an asphyxiant gas; this name is instead used in many languages, such as French, Russian, Romanian and Turkish, and appears in the English names of some nitrogen compounds such as hydrazine, azides and azo compounds.

Although argon is a noble gas, it can form some compounds under various extreme conditions. Argon fluorohydride (HArF), a compound of argon with fluorine and hydrogen that is stable below 17 K (−256.1 °C; −429.1 °F), has been demonstrated. [7] [8] Although the neutral ground-state chemical compounds of argon are presently limited to HArF, argon can form clathrates with water when atoms of argon are trapped in a lattice of water molecules. [9] Ions, such as ArH+
, and excited-state complexes, such as ArF, have been demonstrated. Theoretical calculation predicts several more argon compounds that should be stable [10] but have not yet been synthesized.

Noble gas group of chemical elements

The noble gases make up a group of chemical elements with similar properties; under standard conditions, they are all odorless, colorless, monatomic gases with very low chemical reactivity. The six noble gases that occur naturally are helium (He), neon (Ne), argon (Ar), krypton (Kr), xenon (Xe), and the radioactive radon (Rn). These elements are all nonmetals. Oganesson (Og) is variously predicted to be a noble gas as well or to break the trend due to relativistic effects; its chemistry has not yet been investigated.

Argon fluorohydride chemical compound

Argon fluorohydride or argon hydrofluoride is an inorganic compound with the chemical formula HArF. It is a compound of the chemical element argon.

Fluorine Chemical element with atomic number 9

Fluorine is a chemical element with symbol F and atomic number 9. It is the lightest halogen and exists as a highly toxic pale yellow diatomic gas at standard conditions. As the most electronegative element, it is extremely reactive, as it reacts with almost all other elements, except for helium and neon.

History

Lord Rayleigh's method for the isolation of argon, based on an experiment of Henry Cavendish's. The gases are contained in a test-tube (A) standing over a large quantity of weak alkali (B), and the current is conveyed in wires insulated by U-shaped glass tubes (CC) passing through the liquid and round the mouth of the test-tube. The inner platinum ends (DD) of the wire receive a current from a battery of five Grove cells and a Ruhmkorff coil of medium size. Isolation of Argon.png
Lord Rayleigh's method for the isolation of argon, based on an experiment of Henry Cavendish's. The gases are contained in a test-tube (A) standing over a large quantity of weak alkali (B), and the current is conveyed in wires insulated by U-shaped glass tubes (CC) passing through the liquid and round the mouth of the test-tube. The inner platinum ends (DD) of the wire receive a current from a battery of five Grove cells and a Ruhmkorff coil of medium size.

Argon (Greek ἀργόν, neuter singular form of ἀργός meaning "lazy" or "inactive"), is named in reference to its chemical inactivity. This chemical property of this first noble gas to be discovered impressed the namers. [11] [12] An unreactive gas was suspected to be a component of air by Henry Cavendish in 1785. Argon was first isolated from air in 1894 by Lord Rayleigh and Sir William Ramsay at University College London by removing oxygen, carbon dioxide, water, and nitrogen from a sample of clean air. [13] [14] [15] They had determined that nitrogen produced from chemical compounds was 0.5% lighter than nitrogen from the atmosphere. The difference was slight, but it was important enough to attract their attention for many months. They concluded that there was another gas in the air mixed in with the nitrogen. [16] Argon was also encountered in 1882 through independent research of H. F. Newall and W. N. Hartley.[ citation needed ] Each observed new lines in the emission spectrum of air that did not match known elements.

Until 1957, the symbol for argon was "A", but now is "Ar". [17]

Occurrence

Argon constitutes 0.934% by volume and 1.288% by mass of the Earth's atmosphere, [18] and air is the primary industrial source of purified argon products. Argon is isolated from air by fractionation, most commonly by cryogenic fractional distillation, a process that also produces purified nitrogen, oxygen, neon, krypton and xenon. [19] The Earth's crust and seawater contain 1.2 ppm and 0.45 ppm of argon, respectively. [20]

Isotopes

The main isotopes of argon found on Earth are 40
Ar
(99.6%), 36
Ar
(0.34%), and 38
Ar
(0.06%). Naturally occurring 40
K
, with a half-life of 1.25×109 years, decays to stable 40
Ar
(11.2%) by electron capture or positron emission, and also to stable 40
Ca
(88.8%) by beta decay. These properties and ratios are used to determine the age of rocks by K–Ar dating. [20] [21]

In the Earth's atmosphere, 39
Ar
is made by cosmic ray activity, primarily by neutron capture of 40
Ar
followed by two-neutron emission. In the subsurface environment, it is also produced through neutron capture by 39
K
, followed by proton emission. 37
Ar
is created from the neutron capture by 40
Ca
followed by an alpha particle emission as a result of subsurface nuclear explosions. It has a half-life of 35 days. [21]

Between locations in the Solar System, the isotopic composition of argon varies greatly. Where the major source of argon is the decay of 40
K
in rocks, 40
Ar
will be the dominant isotope, as it is on Earth. Argon produced directly by stellar nucleosynthesis, is dominated by the alpha-process nuclide 36
Ar
. Correspondingly, solar argon contains 84.6% 36
Ar
(according to solar wind measurements), [22] and the ratio of the three isotopes 36Ar : 38Ar : 40Ar in the atmospheres of the outer planets is 8400 : 1600 : 1. [23] This contrasts with the low abundance of primordial 36
Ar
in Earth's atmosphere, which is only 31.5 ppmv (= 9340 ppmv × 0.337%), comparable with that of neon (18.18 ppmv) on Earth and with interplanetary gasses, measured by probes.

The atmospheres of Mars, Mercury and Titan (the largest moon of Saturn) contain argon, predominantly as 40
Ar
, and its content may be as high as 1.93% (Mars). [24]

The predominance of radiogenic 40
Ar
is the reason the standard atomic weight of terrestrial argon is greater than that of the next element, potassium, a fact that was puzzling when argon was discovered. Mendeleev positioned the elements on his periodic table in order of atomic weight, but the inertness of argon suggested a placement before the reactive alkali metal. Henry Moseley later solved this problem by showing that the periodic table is actually arranged in order of atomic number (see History of the periodic table).

Compounds

Space-filling model of argon fluorohydride Argon-fluorohydride-3D-vdW.png
Space-filling model of argon fluorohydride

Argon's complete octet of electrons indicates full s and p subshells. This full valence shell makes argon very stable and extremely resistant to bonding with other elements. Before 1962, argon and the other noble gases were considered to be chemically inert and unable to form compounds; however, compounds of the heavier noble gases have since been synthesized. The first argon compound with tungsten pentacarbonyl, W(CO)5Ar, was isolated in 1975. However it was not widely recognised at that time. [25] In August 2000, another argon compound, argon fluorohydride (HArF), was formed by researchers at the University of Helsinki, by shining ultraviolet light onto frozen argon containing a small amount of hydrogen fluoride with caesium iodide. This discovery caused the recognition that argon could form weakly bound compounds, even though it was not the first. [8] [26] [27] It is stable up to 17  kelvin s (−256 °C). The metastable ArCF2+
2
dication, which is valence-isoelectronic with carbonyl fluoride and phosgene, was observed in 2010. [28] Argon-36, in the form of argon hydride (argonium) ions, has been detected in interstellar medium associated with the Crab Nebula supernova; this was the first noble-gas molecule detected in outer space. [29] [30]

Solid argon hydride (Ar(H2)2) has the same crystal structure as the MgZn2 Laves phase. It forms at pressures between 4.3 and 220 GPa, though Raman measurements suggest that the H2 molecules in Ar(H2)2 dissociate above 175 GPa. [31]

Production

Industrial

Argon is produced industrially by the fractional distillation of liquid air in a cryogenic air separation unit; a process that separates liquid nitrogen, which boils at 77.3 K, from argon, which boils at 87.3 K, and liquid oxygen, which boils at 90.2 K. About 700,000 tonnes of argon are produced worldwide every year. [20] [32]

In radioactive decays

40Ar, the most abundant isotope of argon, is produced by the decay of 40 K with a half-life of 1.25×109 years by electron capture or positron emission. Because of this, it is used in potassium–argon dating to determine the age of rocks.

Applications

Cylinders containing argon gas for use in extinguishing fire without damaging server equipment Argon.jpg
Cylinders containing argon gas for use in extinguishing fire without damaging server equipment

Argon has several desirable properties:

Other noble gases would be equally suitable for most of these applications, but argon is by far the cheapest. Argon is inexpensive, since it occurs naturally in air and is readily obtained as a byproduct of cryogenic air separation in the production of liquid oxygen and liquid nitrogen: the primary constituents of air are used on a large industrial scale. The other noble gases (except helium) are produced this way as well, but argon is the most plentiful by far. The bulk of argon applications arise simply because it is inert and relatively cheap.

Industrial processes

Argon is used in some high-temperature industrial processes where ordinarily non-reactive substances become reactive. For example, an argon atmosphere is used in graphite electric furnaces to prevent the graphite from burning.

For some of these processes, the presence of nitrogen or oxygen gases might cause defects within the material. Argon is used in some types of arc welding such as gas metal arc welding and gas tungsten arc welding, as well as in the processing of titanium and other reactive elements. An argon atmosphere is also used for growing crystals of silicon and germanium.

Argon is used in the poultry industry to asphyxiate birds, either for mass culling following disease outbreaks, or as a means of slaughter more humane than the electric bath. Argon is denser than air and displaces oxygen close to the ground during gassing. [33] [34] Its non-reactive nature makes it suitable in a food product, and since it replaces oxygen within the dead bird, argon also enhances shelf life. [35]

Argon is sometimes used for extinguishing fires where valuable equipment may be damaged by water or foam. [36]

Scientific research

Liquid argon is used as the target for neutrino experiments and direct dark matter searches. The interaction between the hypothetical WIMPs and an argon nucleus produces scintillation light that is detected by photomultiplier tubes. Two-phase detectors containing argon gas are used to detect the ionized electrons produced during the WIMP–nucleus scattering. As with most other liquefied noble gases, argon has a high scintillation light yield (about 51 photons/keV [37] ), is transparent to its own scintillation light, and is relatively easy to purify. Compared to xenon, argon is cheaper and has a distinct scintillation time profile, which allows the separation of electronic recoils from nuclear recoils. On the other hand, its intrinsic beta-ray background is larger due to 39
Ar
contamination, unless one uses argon from underground sources, which has much less 39
Ar
contamination. Most of the argon in the Earth's atmosphere was produced by electron capture of long-lived 40
K
(40
K
+ e40
Ar
+ ν) present in natural potassium within the Earth. The 39
Ar
activity in the atmosphere is maintained by cosmogenic production through the knockout reaction 40
Ar
(n,2n)39
Ar
and similar reactions. The half-life of 39
Ar
is only 269 years. As a result, the underground Ar, shielded by rock and water, has much less 39
Ar
contamination. [38] Dark-matter detectors currently operating with liquid argon include DarkSide, WArP, ArDM, microCLEAN and DEAP. Neutrino experiments include ICARUS and MicroBooNE, both of which use high-purity liquid argon in a time projection chamber for fine grained three-dimensional imaging of neutrino interactions.

Preservative

A sample of caesium is packed under argon to avoid reactions with air CsCrystals.JPG
A sample of caesium is packed under argon to avoid reactions with air

Argon is used to displace oxygen- and moisture-containing air in packaging material to extend the shelf-lives of the contents (argon has the European food additive code E938). Aerial oxidation, hydrolysis, and other chemical reactions that degrade the products are retarded or prevented entirely. High-purity chemicals and pharmaceuticals are sometimes packed and sealed in argon.

In winemaking, argon is used in a variety of activities to provide a barrier against oxygen at the liquid surface, which can spoil wine by fueling both microbial metabolism (as with acetic acid bacteria) and standard redox chemistry.

Argon is sometimes used as the propellant in aerosol cans for such products as varnish, polyurethane, and paint, and to displace air when preparing a container for storage after opening. [39]

Since 2002, the American National Archives stores important national documents such as the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution within argon-filled cases to inhibit their degradation. Argon is preferable to the helium that had been used in the preceding five decades, because helium gas escapes through the intermolecular pores in most containers and must be regularly replaced. [40]

Laboratory equipment

Gloveboxes are often filled with argon, which recirculates over scrubbers to maintain an oxygen-, nitrogen-, and moisture-free atmosphere Glovebox.jpg
Gloveboxes are often filled with argon, which recirculates over scrubbers to maintain an oxygen-, nitrogen-, and moisture-free atmosphere

Argon may be used as the inert gas within Schlenk lines and gloveboxes. Argon is preferred to less expensive nitrogen in cases where nitrogen may react with the reagents or apparatus.

Argon may be used as the carrier gas in gas chromatography and in electrospray ionization mass spectrometry; it is the gas of choice for the plasma used in ICP spectroscopy. Argon is preferred for the sputter coating of specimens for scanning electron microscopy. Argon gas is also commonly used for sputter deposition of thin films as in microelectronics and for wafer cleaning in microfabrication.

Medical use

Cryosurgery procedures such as cryoablation use liquid argon to destroy tissue such as cancer cells. It is used in a procedure called "argon-enhanced coagulation", a form of argon plasma beam electrosurgery. The procedure carries a risk of producing gas embolism and has resulted in the death of at least one patient. [41]

Blue argon lasers are used in surgery to weld arteries, destroy tumors, and correct eye defects. [20]

Argon has also been used experimentally to replace nitrogen in the breathing or decompression mix known as Argox, to speed the elimination of dissolved nitrogen from the blood. [42]

Lighting

Argon gas-discharge lamp forming the symbol for argon "Ar" ArTube.jpg
Argon gas-discharge lamp forming the symbol for argon "Ar"

Incandescent lights are filled with argon, to preserve the filaments at high temperature from oxidation. It is used for the specific way it ionizes and emits light, such as in plasma globes and calorimetry in experimental particle physics. Gas-discharge lamps filled with pure argon provide lilac/violet light; with argon and some mercury, blue light. Argon is also used for blue and green argon-ion lasers.

Miscellaneous uses

Argon is used for thermal insulation in energy-efficient windows. [43] Argon is also used in technical scuba diving to inflate a dry suit because it is inert and has low thermal conductivity. [44]

Argon is used as a propellant in the development of the Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket (VASIMR). Compressed argon gas is allowed to expand, to cool the seeker heads of some versions of the AIM-9 Sidewinder missile and other missiles that use cooled thermal seeker heads. The gas is stored at high pressure. [45]

Argon-39, with a half-life of 269 years, has been used for a number of applications, primarily ice core and ground water dating. Also, potassium–argon dating and related argon-argon dating is used to date sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous rocks. [20]

Argon has been used by athletes as a doping agent to simulate hypoxic conditions. In 2014, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) added argon and xenon to the list of prohibited substances and methods, although at this time there is no reliable test for abuse. [46]

Safety

Although argon is non-toxic, it is 38% denser than air and therefore considered a dangerous asphyxiant in closed areas. It is difficult to detect because it is colorless, odorless, and tasteless. A 1994 incident, in which a man was asphyxiated after entering an argon-filled section of oil pipe under construction in Alaska, highlights the dangers of argon tank leakage in confined spaces and emphasizes the need for proper use, storage and handling. [47]

See also

Related Research Articles

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2
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Period (periodic table) row in the periodic table of elements

A period in the periodic table is a row of chemical elements. All elements in a row have the same number of electron shells. Each next element in a period has one more proton and is less metallic than its predecessor. Arranged this way, groups of elements in the same column have similar chemical and physical properties, reflecting the periodic law. For example, the alkali metals lie in the first column and share similar properties, such as high reactivity and the tendency to lose one electron to arrive at a noble-gas electronic configuration. As of 2016, a total of 118 elements have been discovered and confirmed.

Nonmetal term to classify chemical elements

In chemistry, a nonmetal is a chemical element that mostly lacks metallic attributes. Physically, nonmetals tend to have relatively low melting and boiling points, and densities, are mostly brittle if solid, and are usually poor conductors of heat and electricity; chemically, they tend to have relatively high ionization energy, electron affinity, and electronegativity values, and gain or share electrons when they react with other elements or compounds. Seventeen elements are generally classified as nonmetals; most are gases ; one is a liquid (bromine), and a few are solids. Metalloids such as boron, silicon and germanium are sometimes counted as nonmetals.

A period 3 element is one of the chemical elements in the third row of the periodic table of the chemical elements. The periodic table is laid out in rows to illustrate recurring (periodic) trends in the chemical behaviour of the elements as their atomic number increases: a new row is begun when the periodic table skips a row and a chemical behaviour begins to repeat, meaning that elements with similar behavior fall into the same vertical columns. The third period contains eight elements: sodium, magnesium, aluminium, silicon, phosphorus, sulfur, chlorine, and argon. The first two, sodium and magnesium, are members of the s-block of the periodic table, while the others are members of the p-block. Note that there is a 3d subshell, but it is not filled until period 4, such giving the period table its characteristic shape of "two rows at a time". All of the period 3 elements occur in nature and have at least one stable isotope.

A period 2 element is one of the chemical elements in the second row of the periodic table of the chemical elements. The periodic table is laid out in rows to illustrate recurring (periodic) trends in the chemical behavior of the elements as their atomic number increases; a new row is started when chemical behavior begins to repeat, creating columns of elements with similar properties.

Noble gas compounds are chemical compounds that include an element from the noble gases, group 18 of the periodic table. Although the noble gases are generally unreactive elements, many such compounds have been observed, particularly involving the element xenon. From the standpoint of chemistry, the noble gases may be divided into two groups: the relatively reactive krypton, xenon (12.1 eV), and radon (10.7 eV) on one side, and the very unreactive argon (15.8 eV), neon (21.6 eV), and helium (24.6 eV) on the other. Consistent with this classification, Kr, Xe, and Rn form compounds that can be isolated in bulk at or near standard temperature and pressure, whereas He, Ne, Ar have been observed to form true chemical bonds using spectroscopic techniques, but only when frozen into a noble gas matrix at temperatures of 40 K or lower, in supersonic jets of noble gas, or under extremely high pressures with metals.

Argon (18Ar) has 25 known isotopes, from 30Ar to 54Ar and 1 isomer (32mAr), of which three are stable. On the Earth, 40Ar makes up 99.6% of natural argon. The longest-lived radioactive isotopes are 39Ar with a half-life of 269 years, 42Ar with a half-life of 32.9 years, and 37Ar with a half-life of 35.04 days. All other isotopes have half-lives of less than two hours, and most less than one minute. The least stable is 30Ar with a half-life shorter than 20 nanoseconds.

Industrial gas Gaseous materials produced for use in industry

Industrial gases are the gaseous materials that are manufactured for use in industry. The principal gases provided are nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide, argon, hydrogen, helium and acetylene; although a huge variety of gases and mixtures are available in gas cylinders. The industry producing these gases is known as the industrial gases, which is seen as also encompassing the supply of equipment and technology to produce and use the gases. Their production is a part of the wider chemical Industry .called producer gas

Krypton Chemical element with atomic number 36

Krypton is a chemical element with symbol Kr and atomic number 36. It is a member of group 18 elements. A colorless, odorless, tasteless noble gas, krypton occurs in trace amounts in the atmosphere and is often used with other rare gases in fluorescent lamps. With rare exceptions, krypton is chemically inert.

In chemistry, the term chemically inert is used to describe a substance that is not chemically reactive. Most Group 8 or 18 elements that appear in the last column of the periodic table are classified as inert. These elements are stable in their naturally occurring form and they are called inert gases.

Air separation

An air separation plant separates atmospheric air into its primary components, typically nitrogen and oxygen, and sometimes also argon and other rare inert gases.

Fluorine forms a great variety of chemical compounds, within which it always adopts an oxidation state of −1. With other atoms, fluorine forms either polar covalent bonds or ionic bonds. Most frequently, covalent bonds involving fluorine atoms are single bonds, although at least two examples of a higher order bond exist. Fluoride may act as a bridging ligand between two metals in some complex molecules. Molecules containing fluorine may also exhibit hydrogen bonding. Fluorine's chemistry includes inorganic compounds formed with hydrogen, metals, nonmetals, and even noble gases; as well as a diverse set of organic compounds. For many elements the highest known oxidation state can be achieved in a fluoride. For some elements this is achieved exclusively in a fluoride, for others exclusively in an oxide; and for still others the highest oxidation states of oxides and fluorides are always equal.

Argon compounds, the chemical compounds that contain the element argon, are rarely encountered due to the inertness of the argon atom. However, compounds of argon have been detected in inert gas matrix isolation, cold gases, and plasmas, and molecular ions containing argon have been made and also detected in space. One solid interstitial compound of argon, Ar1C60 is stable at room temperature. Ar1C60 was discovered by CSIRO.

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Further reading